5 Things that Help Anxiety
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Since I was 12, I've had generalized anxiety disorder, occasionally with panic attacks.
If you're reading this, I'm going to bet you're well-acquainted with it, too. And you are probably exhausted. You don't feel like it's fair and you want it to stop anxiety, once and for all.
These things are some of the most reliable I've found to soothe anxiety, get me refocused and settled, and help me take on challenges.
I've read tons of self-help books (not to mention textbooks) trying to make sense of anxiety. This one wins. It is fresh, includes access to a supportive Facebook group, and has given me lasting results. Buy it here.
2) Talk Therapy
Going to therapy shaped my perspective, eased my symptoms, and gave me hope. It might take you a handful of therapists before you find the most effective, so don't give up. Most will work on a sliding pay scale if you don't have insurance, as well. Therapy changes the brain structure. I challenge you to call today. Just try it for 6 sessions and then tell me what happens.
All natural supplement. Takes the edge off. Enhances mood. I try to only take these when things feel pretty intense, because I also want to learn how to experience sensations and not just fear them. However, I need to know there's a backup solution that will gently make it easier to cope without making me feel like a zombie.
4) No More Horror Flicks / Turn Off the News
The 2 hours of entertainment was never worth the lingering effects (a heightened alert system, thinking the world is an unsafe place, or drowning in negativity). This used to be my favorite movie genre, so I feel a little lame having to stop watching, but it made a difference. As for news, I read through headlines quickly once in a while, but avoid video clips and pictures as much as possible. Also: read Good News.
5) Audiobooks & Podcasts
This one was my husband's idea and works for a building panic attack! For a very panicky feeling, I choose books that are somewhat boring and with a reader that isn't super upbeat. The Martian is an example I like. If panic has gotten the best of me, I'll sit down and curl myself around a pillow and put in headphones. This helps drown out racing thoughts. For Podcasts, I like to listen to these while I drive. The attention driving requires helps, and I have my children bring their books or game systems and play while I listen for 20-30 minutes. I currently love At Home with Sally.
Other Anxiety Tools I Use: The Calm app (worth every penny for it's sleep stories and daily meditations), cutting out caffeine, having a consistent bedtime, being outside as much as possible, creating and enforcing boundaries in relationships, and progressive muscle relaxation.
I want you to know you're not alone, weird, or broken. While anxious feelings are uncomfortable and scary, we can find ways to deal with them and still enjoy a happy life, full of hope and purpose.
You've got this!